6 December 2000
Battle lost for ‘wildlife haven’

By FWi staff

A YORKSHIRE farmer has lost a three-and-a-half year battle to save his farmland from being converted into a sewage treatment plant.

John Hepworth created an 11-acre “wildlife haven” on his Hornsea farm. But Yorkshire Water decided it wanted the land to build a 14 million sewage plant.

A compulsory purchase order was issued and the farm will now house a number of sewage compounds and more than a mile of pipework.

Mr Hepworth said: “I have suffered a financial loss and Yorkshire Waters compensation offer is far from adequate.

“Apart from the difficulties of getting the cows across the pipes, which will run right round the land, who will want to buy a farm with a sewage plant on it?

“I have developed a wonderful haven for wildlife here and had the backing of the Wildlife Trust and local residents.

“I was very confident that I would succeed. The whole thing is a tragedy.”

A Yorkshire Water spokesman said the new plant would improve the quality of Hornseas bathing waters and boost tourism in the area.

“We have sought to reach a negotiated settlement and made Mr Hepworth various fair and generous offers, but his demands have not been realistic.

“It is very important that we go ahead with this major environmental scheme, which will enhance Hornseas reputation as a quality tourist resort,” he said.